U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Pasadena is located 10 miles northeast of the City of Los Angeles within Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel Valley at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Incorporated in 1886, the City grew as a winter resort, citrus center, and now a center of research and development in electronics, and aerospace components. The New Year's Day Tournament of Roses, which was first introduced in the City in 1890, features a televised parade and the Rose Bowl collegiate football classic.

The Pasadena Consolidated Plan (1995-2000) highlights an overview of the existing housing conditions in the City and includes population characteristics, a description of existing housing stock and housing market. The Plan evaluates programs and activities undertaken to expand economic opportunities including: job creation and retention; establishment, stabilization and expansion of small business; and empowerment and self-sufficiency opportunities for low-income persons to reduce generational poverty.

Action Plan

The City's Consolidated Plan functions as a planning document, an application for Federal funds, strategy tool, and action plan. As the planning document, the Consolidated Plan describes the City's five-year estimate of housing needs for residents that are extremely low-income, low-income, moderate-income, and middle-income; it also describes the nature and extent of homelessness and number of persons that require supportive housing, including the elderly persons, persons with disabilities, persons with alcohol or other drug addiction, and persons with HIV/AIDS.

Citizen Participation

On December 19, 1994, the City Council adopted and approved the City's Affordable Housing Plan (1995-2000), which later was used to prepare the Consolidated Plan. During the development of the Affordable Housing Plan (AHP), a series of eight workshops were conducted by the Community Development Committee to obtain public input. Also, for preparation and adoption of the Consolidated Plan, city staff conducted community workshops on December 7, 1994, January 10, 1995 and January 17, 1995 to solicit citizen input. Comments were also sought and received from the established City advisory bodies including the Northwest Commission, Community Development Committee, Planning Commission, and the Human Services Commission at their regularly scheduled meetings during the months of March, April and May, 1995. The members of these advisory bodies are at-large members representing the various segments of the community. The community workshops and meetings of the advisory bodies served as the forums for active discussions relevant to the housing and community development needs of the City. The activities of the City have reflected an extensive effort to entertain an on going dialogue with the residents.


In 1994, the City population was 134,842 which represents a growth of 13,041 (11% increase) since 1980 when the population was 118,550. This compares with a state-wide increase of 28% for the same time period. Overall, the population and population densities throughout the City have increased. The racial and ethnic composition of the City population is White (46.6%), Hispanic (27.3%), African American (17.8%), Asian/Pacific Islander (7.7%), American Indian (.3%).

Since 1980, the young adult (19-34 years of age) sub-group of the population increased both in size and percentage (26,160 to 41,351 and 23% to 31%, respectively) of the total City population. This is significant for housing because this group is entering the housing market and faces the greatest constraints in locating affordable housing. In contrast, the City's senior population decreased by 348 from 17,686 to 17,338, or from 14.9% to 13.2%.



The distribution of households by income category is as follows: low income, 27%; moderate income, 14%; middle income, 8%; above middle income, 51%. The 1990 Census reported that 7,736 (15%) of the City's households are living below the poverty level and fall within this segment of the population of individuals and families as being at-risk of becoming homeless. Of this population, 22% (1,671 households) are homeowners and 78% (6,065 households) are renters. For extremely low-income residents, General Relief (GR), which is approximately $212 per month, or Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) programs, is their only source of income.

Housing Needs

Low and moderate income groups comprise a significant percentage of the City's population. When the income information, coupled with the income by tenancy and ability to pay data is considered, it can be ascertained that these particular individuals in need have the following characteristics: they are very low or low income who are concentrated in the Northwest Area of the City, and they are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on rent. It is assumed that if the income for this group remains the same (relative to median income) or decreases, and/or if they continue to pay more than 30% of their income on housing, then the percentage of the population unable to bridge the income-housing affordability gap will remain unacceptably high for the foreseeable future.

With regard to substandard housing, specifically, owner-occupied housing, if homeowners are unable to rehabilitate their homes due to income constraints, then the homes could deteriorate to the point where they are unsuitable for rehabilitation. The same situation exists with rental housing. Therefore, both the very low/low income homeowner and renter should be considered in the category of need.

Housing Market Conditions

Rents for 1-bedroom units average about $575, with a range from $550 in Northwest Pasadena to $625 in southwest Pasadena. Rents for 2-bedroom units average about $750, with a range from $685 in Northwest Pasadena to $800 in Southwest Pasadena. The 1990 Census indicated the median rent is $630. These average rents exceed the ability to pay for low income (50% of median) and moderate income (80% of median) households: they can afford to pay about $450 and $580, respectively, for a 2-bedroom unit compared to the average rent of $750.

Resale homes have lost values since 1990. For Pasadena, the drop was 18.5% from a high of $ 199.61 per square foot (or $199,610 for a 1000 square foot house) to $162.67 per square foot (or $162,670 for a 1000 square foot house). Although this price drop is significant, it is still out of reach to low to moderate income households. A four person household at median (100%) income could afford the purchase of a home valued at $150,000; at 50% of median income, the respective value of the home is $75,000.

Affordable Housing Needs

As of May 1995, there is a total of 1389 Section 8 tenant-based Vouchers/Certificates available citywide to eligible very low-income households in Pasadena. The rental assistance program maintains a 97% lease-up of its allocation and it is only when tenants leave the program or when the City is awarded an additional allocation of vouchers/certificates from HUD, that staff goes to the waiting list to certify new participants. As a result, the waiting list moves very slowly.

Homeless Needs

The City's homeless population numbers approximately 37 homeless families and 107 persons in homeless families. Currently, there are 17 facilities that provide emergency and transitional housing services for the homeless. Presently, these facilities offer 506 shelter beds for homeless single adults and families on a daily basis. Due to the restrictions of various funding programs and local zoning requirements, existing emergency facilities must limit stays to sixty days. Some providers agree that allowing longer stays would benefit client's abilities to attain self-sufficiency. The option to provide longer-term residential beds and services for up to six months is needed. In addition, the Bad Weather Shelter offers an extra 100 shelter beds for homeless. The City's continuum of care provides a wide range of housing and support services for homeless persons. There are, however, gaps in services for various homeless sub-populations.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

A total of the 1,451 HUD-assisted project-based housing units are located in the City. The City intends to work with the tenants and non-profit organizations interested in preserving any at-risk units in order to retain their affordability. The Consolidated Plan (1995-2000) includes a list of publicly-subsidized housing located in the City. There are 627 Section 236 and 221(d)(3) units; 516 Section 8 project-based housing units; 1,601 low-income units for elderly.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The high cost and limited availability of developable land in the City coupled with an economic slump, is an indication that the City may not have the ability to create a high number of affordable new construction single and multi-family units in the near future.

The same can be assumed for the development of housing for individuals with special needs (i.e. individuals with physical or mental disabilities or diagnosed with HIV/AIDS). Another roadblock for this type of housing could be the "Not-In-My-Back-Yard" (NIMBY) attitude.

Lead-Based Paint

Over 43% of the City's housing was constructed before 1978 and may be subject to lead-based paint hazards. The City's Health Department is active in addressing lead-related problems and issues. Throughout the year, the Health Department provides lead screening of children under six years of age. Any diagnosed cases of childhood lead poisoning are targeted for public health intervention.

Community Development Needs

The City's specific long-term and short-term economic development goals, objectives and programs are for the creation and retention of jobs for low and moderate income individuals and households. This component also includes specific neighborhood revitalization activities for the elimination of blighted conditions and the economic empowerment of residents. The goal of revitalization is to enable the residents to prosper, as new investments come to their neighborhood, and, to be a strong part of their neighborhood's rebuilding efforts. Further information is contained in the Pasadena Community Development Commission Implementation Plan (1995-1999), the city's revised Northwest Community Plan, and the Altadena/Pasadena Enterprise Zone Implementation Plan.


City continues to strengthen the connection between the Code Enforcement Division and the Housing Division in their efforts to identify code violations in residential structures and to provide financial assistance directed at correcting code violations.


Vision for Change

The City's overall strategy for achieving its housing and community development goals is to make more effective use of existing programs by focusing them on priority target areas, greater coordination between programs and increased marketing efforts. It also involves concerted efforts to reduce or mitigate the constraints which hinder the production of affordable housing. Major attention would be directed at those areas of housing production costs that promise to yield the greatest proportionate cost reductions (financing and land).

Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

Housing Policies:

Housing Goals

Handicapped Accessibility: Provide 100 handicapped-accessible or adaptable rental and ownership units, in conjunction with the production of assisted ownership and rental housing.

Homelessness: Continue to support existing emergency and transitional housing facilities (268 beds); and increase the number of emergency shelter and transitional housing beds by 105, with emphasis on transitional housing for families coming out of emergency shelters.

Housing for Persons with HIV or AIDS: Develop and/or rehabilitate 12 units of rental housing for very low/low income persons living with HIV or AIDS.

Housing for Persons with Mental Disabilities: Develop and/or rehabilitate 20 units of rental housing for very low/low income persons in need of mental health care.

Housing for Seniors: Develop 55 new units of affordable rental housing for very low/low income seniors. This assumes completion of Silvercrest (75 units) and TELACU (70 units) to achieve a goal of 200 units.

Single Room Occupancy Housing: Develop and/or rehabilitate 50 new units of single room occupancy housing for very low/low income rental affordability.

New Construction of Affordable Ownership Housing: Develop 125 new units of affordable ownership housing; identify in-fill housing sites for Commission acquisition and disposition and development through a "Request For Proposals" (RFP) competitive developer selection process; assist developer-initiated projects; and evaluate inventory of City/Commission-owned parcels to assess potential for housing development. Assess feasibility of assembling potential parcels, and their disposition and development through an RFP process.

Homebuyer Assistance: Provide assistance to 65 qualified homebuyers for purchase of new or existing affordable homes; establish program to provide loan assistance to qualified moderate income buyers of resale housing (e.g., a loan program to assist with downpayment and eligible closing costs); continue to provide homebuyer assistance through "Mortgage Credit Certificate" (MCC) Program; and utilize acquisition/rehabilitation loan programs which may be available to provide homeownership opportunities.

Homebuyer Education: Continue support for established homebuyer education programs such as the ones offered by Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services, Pasadena Association of Realtors, and/or others; compile and distribute resource guide for first-time homebuyer seminars conducted by local lenders/realtors.

Rental-Ownership Conversion Project: Explore feasibility of identifying distressed rental housing property in Northwest for conversion to ownership project with City/Commission financial assistance.

Outreach To Developers: Conduct outreach to developers regarding affordable ownership housing development opportunities; hold workshops and prepare request for proposals (RFP) or Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) to solicit developers.

Rehabilitation: Rehabilitate 400 units of affordable multifamily and single-family housing; fund housing rehabilitation in Villa-Parke Redevelopment Project Area; continue to strengthen the connection between the City's code enforcement and the Housing Division; and conduct outreach to owners of owner-occupied and nonowner-occupied housing units regarding the City's desire to revitalize neighborhoods through housing preservation, and the availability of rehabilitation loan assistance; and include workshops and prepare an information booklet for property owners.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

The Pasadena Community Development Commission is the redevelopment arm of the City. The following is an overview of four project areas and their respective redevelopment priorities to eliminate slum and blight:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The Pasadena Community Development Commission (Housing Authority) will assist forty (40) families who volunteer to strive to become economically independent from governmental services within a five to seven (5-7) year period. The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is available to families currently assisted under the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program. The program coordinates existing public and private sector resources and integrates them into personal development program so that individuals, who apply and need comprehensive and coordinated help can become economically independent. The theme of FSS is to empower people to take control of their lives by becoming independent, productive members of their communities.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The City provides regional leadership in administering a number of Federal, State, and local programs to increase housing opportunities for low and moderate income households, eliminate slums and blight, and provide necessary public and support services. State program funds include the California Housing Finance Agency and the Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Local funds include Pasadena Housing Trust Funds, Mortgage Credit Certificates, and Single Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds. Private sources include the Community Homebuyers Program (Board of Realtors) and Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages private financial institutions' participation in providing affordable housing.


Description of Key Projects

Community Development Block Grant funds:

Emergency Shelter Grant funds: HOME Investment Partnership Grant funds:

Lead Agencies

City of Pasadena
Housing and Development Department, Housing Division
Community Development Commission


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

TABLE (without associated map) provides information on the project(s).

To comment on Pasadena's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
William C. Reynolds, Director
Gregory Robinson, Acting Housing Administrator (818) 405-3700
Patricia Ortiz, Program Coordinator (818) 405-3700

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.